Guyana: When the cricketing world is more keen about the Ashes, a nondescript five-match one-day series involving West Indies and Pakistan starts here on Sunday.
Both the teams have lot to prove to their fans after their poor performances in the last months. Pakistan are in the West Indies to redeem themselves after an unforgettable Champions Trophy where they lost in all the league games. While West Indies come into the series after failing to book a final berth in the recently concluded tri-series involving India and Sri Lanka despite starting off well in the tournament.
Pakistan would be boosted by the return of veteran Shahid Afridi who gets a chance to resurrect his international career. However, the hard-hitting batsman is confident of good show in the Caribbean after spending few weeks at the performance centre. Shoaib Malik and Kamran Akmal have been dropped while Umar Akmal has been included in the squad and more likely he would be doing the wicketkeeping duties.
Top of the order, Nashir Jamshed and Mohammad Hafeez would be the key while the middle-order rests on Misbah-ul-Haq, Afridi and Umar. In the pace department, Junaid Khan has been a real find for Pakistan and not to forget the tall left-arm speedster Mohammad Irfan who can create problem for the batsmen with the spongy bounce off the West Indies tracks.
Dwayne Bravo will be leading the side as he missed couple of matches in the tri-series few weeks ago due to injury. The hosts would be banking a lot on their opening pair - Chris Gayle and Johnson Charles to give them good starts. The form of Marlon Samuels remains a concern who struggled with 22 runs in the tri-series, but he is one knock away from bouncing back. Charles may have to don the wicketkeeping gloves as Denesh Ramdin has been dropped due to his bad form with the bat.
Pakistan: 1 Nasir Jamshed, 2 Ahmed Shehzad, 3 Mohammad Hafeez, 4 Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 5 Umar Amin, 6 Umar Akmal (wk), 7 Shahid Afridi, 8 Wahab Riaz, 9 Junaid Khan, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Mohammad Irfan
West Indies: 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Johnson Charles (wk), 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Lendl Simmons, 5 Marlon Samuels, 6 Dwayne Bravo (capt), 7 Kieron Pollard, 8 Darren Sammy, 9 Kemar Roach, 10 Sunil Narine, 11 Tino Best